Oxford Blue is a variety and brand of blue cheese produced in Burford, Oxfordshire, England. Oxford Blue cheese is a creamy semi-soft vegetarian blue-veined cheese. It has a striking looking rind and has tangy, aromatic and spicy qualities. The cheese is made in a Stilton Dairy to precise specifications to create a uniquely smooth texture. It also, consequently, has the strong taste you’d expect from a blue, but much creamier than Stilton.
Serving Oxford Blue Cheese
Break into chunks and stir into cooked pasta with a little olive oil and some Pannacetta for a quick supper. Alternatively, serve with celery and grapes or on an unsalted cracker as a dessert cheese. If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge at least 20 minutes before serving. This will allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.
The cheese is prepared using unpasteurised cow’s milk and is aged for 14 to 16 weeks. In addition, its rind is sticky and wet in texture. Above all, the cheese is soft, creamy and moist, has aromatic, tangy and spicy qualities, and has traces of white wine and chocolate in its flavour. Similarly, it has been described as a “French-style English blue” that can be used “as an alternative” to Stilton cheese”, and therefore as similar to Dolcelatte and St Agur cheeses, with a less strong flavour than Roquefort or Stilton.
History of Oxford Blue
Robert Pouget saw a gap in the English blue cheese market for a semi-soft English blue which could rival imports such as Dolcelatte or Fourme d’Ambert. As a result, developed the cheese in 1994 for the Oxford Cheese Company.
After that, production has taken place at a new, small dairy in Burford, Oxfordshire, which was developed in a converted barn. At the Burford site in 2013, Pouget encountered an initial problem of having nowhere to dispose of waste whey. This is a byproduct of the cheese’s production, which was at around 50,000 litres each month. The problem was solved by the introduction of an anaerobic digester to process the whey. After that, in April 2013, around five tonnes of the cheese were produced monthly. In addition, in 2015 the cheese was distributed by the Oxford Cheese Company.
Oxford Blue won gold at the 2001 and 2003 British Cheese Awards.